Tweet From MSNBC Legal Analyst Sets Off False Story on Mueller Hearing Coverage

I have always been a critic of President Donald Trump’s “fake news” mantra, which is often directed at stories that are true but embarrassing. However, that does not mean that new media allows the rapid spread of false stories — stories that are quickly replicated and repeated across the blogosphere. An example of this problem arose recently when MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance tweeted that Fox News would not air the hearing today with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller because Trump is “afraid” what Mueller will say. That is entirely untrue but the story quickly spread with people like author Stephen King picking up the thread and spreading it to millions. I have had the pleasure of appearing with Vance. While we sometimes disagree, I have great respect for her and her experience as an attorney. The tweet was a mistake but it is the aftermath that is a chilling insight on how fast things spread on our web-based news platforms.

Vance told her twitter following that “Fox isn’t showing Mueller’s testimony Wednesday. Trump is afraid of what will happen if his base gets to hear Mueller’s testimony for themselves.” The former U.S. Attorney was widely criticized and later claimed that it was a joke. Some questioned how the tweet could be construed as a joke and eventually she deleted the tweet.

However, it was too late. King got the word out to his 5.3 millions followers:

Others like Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus, MSNBC guest Rick Wilson, former Rep. Donna Edwards and others repeated the false story in interviews.

The story is obviously damaging when viewers are told that Fox will not be covering the huge hearing. Yet, the fact is that it was a mistaken tweet and people are going overboard in their attacks on Vance. Everyone has tweets that they wish they could take back, including the President of the United States. Vance did the right thing in pulling the tweet. My interest is how this single tweet quickly became irreversible in social media and on television. People are looking for good or bad stories about Fox or Trump. As soon as they see one, they run with the tweet or story. We can all fall victim to such impulses. This is a case in point.

136 thoughts on “Tweet From MSNBC Legal Analyst Sets Off False Story on Mueller Hearing Coverage”

  1. While Karen stomps her feet, she’s still trying to work out the definitions of irony and sarcasm, and the difference between a joke and a lie.

    Most of the rest of us have moved on.

    But in the end, it’s mostly about this for Karen:

    “That whole if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance…”

    In truth, it’s all about Karen.

    1. MSNBC fired Phil Donahue and Jesse Ventura and others for being against the Bush lies.They fired Ed Schultz for wanting to cover Sanders…..how is that not interference in Elections?

      All anyone needs to know about NBC……….Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War

      “I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn’t get out Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don’t even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?”

      https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/01/03/reporter-quits-nbc-citing-networks-support-for-endless-war/

  2. Vance’s tweet:

    “Fox isn’t showing Mueller’s testimony Wednesday. Trump is afraid of what will happen if his base gets to hear Mueller’s testimony for themselves.”

    The moral of the story?

    Don’t repeat something until it’s been confirmed.

    But only the gullible would have bought that obviously jokey tweet in the first place.

      1. No one has to ‘scrounge’… It’s pretty obvious.

        Who would believe that Fox wouldn’t cover the hearings? Only the very gullible.

        1. Or Natacha, who cannot seem to complete a post without mentioning Fox, Hannity, and Russia like it’s some sort of tic.

          Vance capitalized upon the bigotry against conservatives and Fox. I doubt she will suffer any repercussions, as her false barb was aimed at Trump and Fox. Guaranteed get-out-of-trouble card.

    1. What I found telling is that Vance did not apologize for passing on gossip that she failed to research. Rather, she instead apologized that her sarcasm went over tens of thousands of people’s heads. I suppose she believes that Stephen King does not understand irony or sarcasm. Anonymous appears to think he’s gullible.

      Here is a tip. When a journalist posts misinformation, the blame lies with her. However, this was a good lesson for Democrats not to believe everything they read or hear from their news sources. This isn’t the first time MSNBC has had a veracity problem, which has lost viewers.

      If she had said that she passed along gossip without checking it, and apologized, I would have respected it. However, instead, her excuse for stating an utter falsehood was that it was just sarcasm. Obviously, her comment was not sarcastic, and she only apologized that people did not get her joke. She did not address the fact that an attorney, and a journalist, attached to a major news studio, made a false statement that went viral. She told a lie, and then her excuse was a lie. I don’t know if she made up the lie herself, or passed it on, but her excuse for saying it was most certainly contrived.

      One more instance to throw on the pile of fraudulent reporting.

      1. Karen S:

        “I suppose she believes that Stephen King does not understand irony or sarcasm. Anonymous appears to think he’s gullible.”
        *****************
        Brilliant take on the subject.

          1. Anonymous:
            No, just mislead by a liar. Nothing gullible about it. You’d think a law professor married to a judge and whose judge father was murdered by a mail bomb would be a serious person. She’s not and not seeing that coming wasn’t gullibility.

          2. Stephen King’s tweet about Fox News received >32K likes even if it was all fake. Gotta love the left leaning sheep embracing fake news

            Stephen King

            @StephenKing
            FOX news shows the president’s rallies but won’t show Robert Mueller’s testimony? What happened to “Fair and Balanced?”

            37.2K
            12:13 PM – Jul 21, 2019

            johnny dollar
            @johnnydollar01
            32,000 likes for a fabrication. Good thing twitter is protecting us from fake news. Where are CNN’s hall monitors? On lunch break?

            What Stephen King doesn’t want you to know:http://press.foxnews.com/2019/07/fox-news-channel-to-present-live-coverage-of-special-counsel-robert-muellers-live-testimony-before-the-house-judiciary-committee-and-the-house-intelligence-committee-on-wednesday-july-24th/

            https://twitter.com/johnnydollar01/status/1153338109536407553

        1. Now if only you and Karen could see the forest for the trees.

          People make mistakes and Vance made one. But it suits your purposes (and Karen’s) to think of her as “a liar.”

          1. Karen and mespo:

            Please let us know when your opinions are printed by Time magazine. For now, your numerous readers will have to find you here. Sad. /sarc

    2. MSNBC has been spouting lies and conspiracy theories with zero evidence for years now….Especially the Bush lies to war in Iraq.
      Phil Donahue was fired for questioning the Bush lies and had the highest rated show.Jesse Venture and others were fired for the same thing.Ed Shultz was fired for wanting to cover the Sanders campaign….

      Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War

      https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/01/03/reporter-quits-nbc-citing-networks-support-for-endless-war/

      Anyone who watches them is gullible.

  3. “My interest is how this single tweet quickly became irreversible in social media and on television.” Because Vance did not immediately Tweet a follow up that her original statement was completely untrue. She did not try to correct any of the prominent people who repeated her lie. She made no effort at all to correct the damage until long after she was called out on telling a lie. Then, she blamed her followers for not understanding sarcasm and irony. Obviously, as described above, her actions were neither sarcastic nor ironic. They were untruthful, and her response was inappropriate and ineffective.

    This was a good example of how difficult it is to fight Fake News with the truth.

    “People are looking for good or bad stories about Fox or Trump. As soon as they see one, they run with the tweet or story.” Biased people are totally gullible to false information that supports their preconceived notions. Including Vance. I don’t know if she made up the lie herself, or if she repeated it without checking first, which would have been negligent. I do know that long after it was proven to her that it was a lie, she failed to address her untruthful statements. When she did, finally, make a statement, it was to blame her audience for not getting the joke.

    Politicians, take note. As long as you’re a Leftist, you can say whatever lie you want, and when called on it, you can throw your hands up in the air and say it’s not your fault American can’t take a joke.

    That whole if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance – perhaps that was just sarcasm.

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